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Action Research

Robert Louis Flood

Subject Sociology » Methods in Sociology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Extract

Action research refers to participatory processes that are democratic in nature, in which action is undertaken in a social context that leads to improvements, having accommodated for the needs of all stakeholders, while, at the same time, the process facilitates social research about action for improvement through participation and aids social research in general. The kinds of actions that constitute action research are unbounded. Action may focus on improving basic conditions in communities in developing countries, performance in a commercial organization, understanding and influencing the impact of humans on the environment, education systems for adults, conservation of diminishing natural resources such as fish stocks or oil, and so on ad infinitum . Wherever there is a social issue there is a need for action. Research in action research is both formative (what might we do?) and summative (what have we learned?). Formative research involves stakeholders in defining key issues, identifying possible kinds of improvement, choosing what to improve and how to make the improvements, and developing ways of evaluating whether improvement has been achieved or not. Summative research involves consolidation of learning from the process of action yielding experiential knowledge about tools and methods employed, concepts and models generated, and indeed the methodology utilized or developed ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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